How to organise your recycling cupboard

Step 1: Find several large containers.

Cardboard boxes work just fine, as do wicker baskets or large plastic tubs. A stack of deep drawers is also nice, and may or may not fit inside your cupboard as well.

Step 2: Label containers:

PAPER     PLASTIC     GLASS     CANS     ETC

TIP 1: Find out what is recyclable in your neighbourhood, and what may go together, for example paper and cardboard; plastic, Tetrapack and polystyrene. You may even subscribe to a collection service that takes the whole lot in one fell bag in which case this entire organisation process is entirely unnecessary, but surprisingly fun 🙂

Tip 2: Laminating the labels will keep them from getting tatty, therefore retaining your pride in your recycling cupboard system, therefore spurring you on to continue the good work you have started.

Tip 3: Visual labels (i.e. photos) are helpful to help small children learn about sorting (great for left brain development, according to our preschool teacher), as well as saving the planet. Bonus! Here are some visual labels I made that you might find useful:

Tip 4: Keep a separate container for Useful Things, like cereal boxes, toilet roll inners, yoghurt pots, bottle caps, bits of ribbon and string, and old plastic/polystyrene containers. If you don’t use them for arts and crafts at home, your local preschool will love them! This is called upcycling, and is even better than recycling because reusing things takes even less global energy than recycling, let alone the energy that would be required to make new ones.

Step 3: And this one is VERY important…

Keep your toddler out of the recycling cupboard!